I am on the second read of A.L. Kennedy’s The Little Snake ($29.95, Publishers Group Canada).

I was about half way through the first read, when I started to laugh out loud. My 10 year old asked me to read what was so funny so I did:

“The snake studied the kitten for a moment. ‘Wonderful,’ he said and then, before Mary could say anything at all, Lanmo had sleeked down from her hand and onto the floor, opening his mouth wider and wider as he went.

“He then began to swallow the kitten, beginning with its head and its front paws. ‘No,’ cried Mary. At this, the snake frowned and stopped moving. The kitten’s back legs wiggled as they poked out of Lanmo’s mouth and Mary could hear a quizzical meoommh? From inside the snake as the kitten tried to ask what was happened, because it had never been swallowed by anything before.”

Lanmo proceeds to spit out the kitten, who is wet and confused, and tries to understand the misunderstanding.

That night, my guy asked that I read The Little Snake to him at bedtime, which I am doing. I myself have finished reading the book about Lanmo, the snake that travels the world bringing death to people’s whose time has come. Lanmo periodically returns to Mary, a clever little girl who sees the Lanmo when no one else can and becomes friends. Through Mary, Lanmo begins to see a different side of humans and learns about true love.

The book is a short read, but a beautiful one. I like that Lanmo judges people based on what he tastes, through his tongue of course, in their memories. While you meet a few bad people, you also meet some really great ones, who are not afraid of death, but rather meet him as a friend. I like that death is a snake rather than a black-robed person with a scythe.

The Little Snake is an enjoyable, quick read twice in a row.

A copy of this book was provided by PGC Books for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.